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what a shark might look like.

PG

Dennis Quaid, Bess Armstrong, Louis Gossett Jr., Simon MacCorkindale, Lea Thompson, John Putch

Mike: I’ll have my beeper beep your beeper.
Kathryn: I’ll have my beeper beep your beeper back.

A great white shark is captured inside the Sea World marine park which prompts its much larger mother to come looking for it…and she’s hungry.

I used to watch this movie all the time when I was a kid, but even then I knew it wasn’t very good.  The not-so-special effects were bad even for 1983, and the relatively low amount of on-screen kills was disappointing.  Since that’s what I was watching a Jaws movie for back then, the long scenes involving the Brody brothers and their romantic interests didn’t interest me much either.  Well, except for the fact that Lea Thompson was totally hot.

In my advancing age, though, and after having watched it at midnight on the 4th of July (or the 5th technically), I have come to realize that the best part about this movie is the characters.  They’re actually somewhat interesting and believable, and if they were surrounded by something that was even remotely exciting or well done, this would be a pretty darned good movie.

But they’re not.  They’re surrounded by some horrible effects, poorly staged action sequences, and some totally unnecessary 3-D scenes.  Of course, I never saw this in 3-D.  I’ve only seen the muddied images of the version that was on VHS and TV.  It looks absolutely terrible.  I suppose it’s remnants of the 3-D technology that have rendered the entire movie slightly blurry ever since.

Let’s see, what else is bad about this movie.  Oh, the dolphins!  Cindy and Sandy, I believe…?  Normally I like dolphins, but these two got on my nerves.  Or at least the constant references to them did.  Plus, they get to be part of one of the worst final freeze frames in movie history.

Dolphins won the Superbowl!!

Most of the action in this one takes place off screen, and instead they go for a few gross out moments with crabs and other slimy things crawling all over a dead body fished out of the ocean.  And speaking of the ocean, am I all geographically screwed up, or is it the movie that is mistaken?  I don’t seem to recall Orlando being on the coast of Florida at any point in my life, so how come Sea World opens right up to the ocean in this movie?  I’ve always been confused by that.

Obviously the Jaws series should have stopped after the first one.  Part 2 was tolerable (aside from that one girl who does nothing but scream for the final 3rd of the movie), but uncalled for.  Parts 3 and 4 are, as Gene Siskel said, trash.

Though, I have to admit, part 4 makes part 3 look like an all time classic…

Apparently sharks can propel themselves forward at a very high rate of speed without even moving their tail…

10 – 2 for terrible special effects – 2 for very little shark action on screen – 1 for just looking terrible – 1 for…I dunno, just sucking in general = 4.0